Blockchain technology offers a ledger that is transparent and trustless, leading to many use cases in record-keeping sectors of several industries. Consistently innovative, the government in Denver, CO has decided to see how well blockchain works for their needs in casting votes during elections.
According to a press release from PR Newswire, the capital plans to implement the use of blockchain for the upcoming municipal election in May.
In the annoucement, the mobile voting platform appears to primarily be used to help active duty military members, along with their overseas families, who would otherwise be unable to vote. Instead, the platform will be accessible through smartphones, and the eligible votes would submit an electronic ballot. The voter will still have to submit an absentee ballot request, and then they can submit their voting ballot.
In order to make this voting system a reality, the City and County of Denver decided to collaborate with Voatz, Tusk Philanthropies, and the National Cybersecurity Center.
CEO of the National Cyber Security center, Vance Brown, said that the partnership sheds light on the importance of these types of technologies, but particularly shows how effective and secure blockchain voting is. With the ability to offer accurate counts on the ballot, the integrity of the voting system can be upheld.
Jocelyn Bocaro, the deputy director of elections at the Denver Office of Clerk and Recorder, expressed that this new division would ensure that voting is both easy and more transparent. The technology, as Bocaro said, could ensure the security of votes amongst the military, but it also makes the process simpler for voters with disabilities that make it difficult to go to the polls.
Using the blockchain as a way to allow for mobile voting was previously done in the primary elections in West Virginia, which also used Voatz. However, the option was only given to registered military voters in the state. Federal election ballots were submitted through the same system in November in West Virginia, though it was combined with facial recognition software to confirm identities with government-issued IDs.
Outside of the United States, Moscow, Seoul, and the Catalan government have all expressed plans to use blockchain technology as the foundation for new electronic voting systems.